Saturday, January 19, 2013

Free 'States', Slave Patrols And The Second Amendment

Thom Hartmann, at Truthout, writes "The Second Amendment was Ratified to Preserve Slavery," and the evidence he presents appears to validate that statement. The amendment's use of "free State" instead of "free Country" (our Founders knew the difference) was inserted to obtain the vote of Virginia, a slave state, and to preserve Virginia's slave patrol, the militia of which the amendment speaks. Hartmann reminds us in that context that "[f]ounders Patrick Henry, George Mason, and James Madison were totally clear on that... and we all should be too." Read the rest of his documentation: it appears very likely to me that "free State[s]" rather than a "free Country" are what the 2nd Amendment is really about, and that that "well-regulated Militia" referred to what was otherwise known as a "slave patrol." In those terms, it is not as noble an aim as it might seem under another interpretation.

If the 2nd Amendment was inserted, not as a device to defend the nation, but rather as a means to uphold slavery in the slave states, then that amendment should have been abolished, or at least reinterpreted, when the 13th and 14th Amendments were ratified. Somehow that never happened, but the clear intent of those two amendments is the abolition of slavery in America... so it must happen. It is time to remove the ambiguity and interpret the 2nd Amendment properly as an amendment supporting slavery... an amendment invalidated by the 13th and 14th Amendments.

This is going to put a few people's drawers in a knot...

(H/T Michael Moore. Article linked above is offsite, not on

AFTERTHOUGHT: I find it interesting that so many of the commenters on the Hartmann thread seem unwilling to talk about guns, gun rights and slavery at all. Many of them are seeking a particular outcome, as have many Americans in general for over a century and a half. Antonin Scalia notwithstanding, we have a question of constitutional intent here, not a matter to be resolved by parsing constitutional text (at least not in today's English), and the question, to my thinking, must be resolved based on whether the 2nd Amendment is compatible with the institution of slavery, which was abolished in the 13th and 14th Amendments. I'm not saying it's simple, but I am saying it is an issue of gun rights in the context of the abolition of slavery... and that if Hartmann is right, the 2nd Amendment is in peril and has been so since ratification of the 13th and 14th Amendments. YMMV.

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